The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals in just 20 years, study says

The population of corals within Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has plummeted by 50 percent in the last two decades, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, Australia, assessed the colony size of corals in the reef — the world’s largest — between 1995 and 2017, and found a drastic depletion in the population of small, medium and large coral.

“The decline occurred in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species, but especially in branching and table-shaped corals,” study co-author Professor Terry Hughes said of the findings, published in the Royal Society journal.

These specific corals are especially important in providing a habitat for marine life such as fish that inhabit the reef, the researchers said, meaning their loss also results in a decline in reef biodiversity. Despite covering less than 0.1 percent of

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Toothless dino’s lost digits point to spread of parrot-like species — ScienceDaily

A newly discovered species of toothless, two-fingered dinosaur has shed light on how a group of parrot-like animals thrived more than 68 million years ago.

The unusual species had one less finger on each forearm than its close relatives, suggesting an adaptability which enabled the animals to spread during the Late Cretaceous Period, researchers say.

Multiple complete skeletons of the new species were unearthed in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia by a University of Edinburgh-led team.

Named Oksoko avarsan, the feathered, omnivorous creatures grew to around two metres long and had only two functional digits on each forearm. The animals had a large, toothless beak similar to the type seen in species of parrot today.

The remarkably well-preserved fossils provided the first evidence of digit loss in the three-fingered family of dinosaurs known as oviraptors.

The discovery that they could evolve forelimb adaptations suggests the group could alter their diets

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Diversity training startup lost a client to Trump’s ban, CEO says

  • Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson said in a tweet Thursday that a recent executive order from the Trump administration banning certain types of diversity training at federal contractors already caused her to lose a a client.
  • Emerson said the type of training her startup provides does not violate the executive order, but that this company ended it just to “play it safe.”
  • She said that other companies are holding off on diversity training altogether because of confusion over the order.
  • Paradigm is especially known for providing training to Silicon Valley startups and big tech firms, which have historically struggled to achieve representation of minorities in their workforces and C-suites.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CEO of a diversity training consulting firm said Thursday that her company has already lost a client due to President Trump’s recent executive order.

 

“We just lost our

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Every Penguin in the World Comes from Earth’s Lost Eighth Continent

Photo credit: David Merron Photography/World Data Center for Geophysics and Marine Geology/National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA
Photo credit: David Merron Photography/World Data Center for Geophysics and Marine Geology/National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA

From Popular Mechanics

  • The oldest known crested penguin fossils found in New Zealand point to a much older species.

  • Researchers love New Zealand’s fossil record of penguins, including giant “monster penguins” that are almost 6 feet tall.

  • New Zealand is the last traces of a giant continent called Zealandia, which sank about 60 million years ago.

Researchers have found fossils they say determine almost conclusively that every penguin on Earth originally came from modern-day New Zealand. The small landmass we see today is only the topmost points of a sunken landmass once known as continental Zealandia, backnamed from the Dutch imperialist name for New Zealand: Nieuw Zeeland, not to be confused with the human-built micronation of Sealand.

You love badass history. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

Zealandia

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Mosquitos lost an essential gene with no ill effects

Mosquitos lost an essential gene with no ill effects
The exoskeletons of a normal mosquito larva on the left and a mosquito larva with the gooseberry gene edited out on the right. Credit: Alys Jarvela/University of Maryland.

University of Maryland entomologists discovered that a gene critical for survival in other insects is missing in mosquitos—the gene responsible for properly arranging the insects’ segmented bodies. The researchers also found that a related gene evolved to take over the missing gene’s job. Although laboratory studies have shown that similar genes can be engineered to substitute for one another, this is the first time that scientists identified a gene that naturally evolved to perform the same critical function as a related gene long after the two genes diverged down different evolutionary paths.


The work emphasizes the importance of caution in genetic studies that use model animals to make conclusions across different species. It also points to a new potential avenue for research

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Get Lost With a Signal-Blocking Smartphone Pouch

Albert Einstein kept a portrait of the 19th-century scientist Michael Faraday on his wall, alongside a picture of Isaac Newton. Genius recognizes genius: Faraday’s many discoveries led to electric motors, to electricity being put to practical use in technology, and to the concept of electromagnetic fields in physics. Faraday also figured out that an enclosure made of a mesh of conductive metal can absorb and redistribute electromagnetic interference. It is this work that’s honored every time someone slips a cell phone into a pouch coated with metal, made for the specific purpose of preventing signals from getting in or out. The low-tech hack shields phones from digital buttinskies by blocking cellular signals, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, RFID, and Bluetooth. Privacy-craving citizens can put their phone into a Faraday pouch like this one from Silent Pocket ($60 and up), where a metal lining renders the device inside invisible to snoops. “The biggest

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